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Nielsen and DC Comics to Actually Figure Out Who Reads Comics, or: Everybody Take This Survey

Many words have been spun into the internet aether as well as the audible one on the subject of who the audience actually is for American superhero comics. DC would seem to insist that its best bet for solvency in the market is to focus exclusively on keeping the 18-34 year old male reader to the exclusion of other demographics, over the protests of many female fans and readers.

Well, now would be a good time for those fans, and all of DC’s fans and readers to make their voices heard.

From Diamond Distributors themselves:

DC Comics has thanked retailers and fans for their enthusiasm and support during the launch of THE NEW 52, but in a new appeal they’re asking for feedback in a new online survey.

As they made clear from the beginning, their goal was to expand the market by appealing to new/lapsed readers. They believe this has happened, but now they’d like feedback from the fanbase and comic shop retailers about where to go next.

DC has engaged Nielsen NRG, the world-class research company, to survey U.S. consumers and retailers (online and in person), to learn more about DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 and its readership.

You can participate by completing a “Reader Survey,” online at The Survey is available now, through Friday, October 7.

Retailers will also be asked to complete an individual “Retailer Survey.”

DC Comics promises to release the results sometime early next year.

Please note – DC will not be retaining any consumer information associated with this survey. Additionally, Nielsen will be visiting a handful of comic shops nationwide for in-person interviews and will be surveying digital consumers from its app/website.

Yup, that’s Nielsen Media Research and the National Research Group, the organizations that the entire television industry depends on for its market research. You’ve got until next Friday. Make us proud.

(via Bleeding Cool and everything on Tumblr.)

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  • Komiyan

    They don’t seem interested in non-US opinions :(

  • Ipstenu

    I may have linked to this in every single long form comment I could…

  • Patrice M

    You have to be an active reader of DC, I think. If you haven’t bought any of the new comics, they don’t care?

    After the first page it said I did not qualify

  • Silvercat

    It’s awfully hard for them to get opinions about things you haven’t read. Same thing happened to me, but at least they know girls would like to read their comics.

  • Kath

    Yeah, that was pretty annoying. Filled out half of the questions and then *bam*.

  • Christy Leigh Stewart

    Thanks for the link. I did my part.

  • Anonymous

  • Heidi Mason

    I put in a vote for pants on Wonder Woman and Supergirl, as well as a complaint that Catwoman #1 seemed to be more about her sexuality than her skills as a thief. I ended my “rant” by appealing to story instead of tropes that supposedly sell. Maybe the voice of women will be heard in the survey?

  • Lauren Seals

    They disqualify you if you’ve read it but didn’t buy it (which doesn’t automatically mean illegal downloading. People still have friends who loan things). I feel like even if you can’t get opinions about things you haven’t read, there could be a portion about WHY you chose not to read/buy it, and if you would reconsider in the future, etc. Currently, it feels like the data is set up to disqualify an ample portion of the people with concerns, who WOULD buy if things were better overall.

  • K.K.

    That was kind of a lame survey. I was expecting some opinion polls on graphics at the least.

  • Dawn Cadwell

    I put in my 2 cents and will see if it is worthwhile

  • Arlene C. Harris

    nope, they don’t want to hear from any casual readers, just hardcore buyers. Way to skew your sample there, DC.

  • Lauron Haney

    Also contributed a couple of pennies. Overall though, it seemed to me more like a marketing survey than one made to really collect readership data (which you can argue is the same thing, but I hold that there seemed to be a “you read us? Awesome. Read us more!” vibe, rather than a “How can we get you to read us?” sentiment).

  • Michelle Fitzgerald

    I left a bunch of long rants and ended up with the note: Don’t shortchange yourself by belittling your readers and alienating people. Just think to yourself: ‘What would Superman Do?’

    I don’t think Superman would be ok with what they did with Catwoman and Starfire :P

  • Abel Undercity

    They couldn’t have done this first?

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, what is the point in doing a survey if you’re going to ignore most of the people taking said survey??

  • Anonymous

  • Veronica Wakefield

    Yeah, I only bought a couple of titles without having flipped through someone else’s copy first. So far I’ve read nearly every non-horror title in the new 52. It might be more illustrative as to why I read through and then chose NOT to get into, say, Supergirl.

  • Amanda Jean Carroll

    It was interesting to see where DC’s priorities are. Among the options for “things you look for in comics”, “writing” was nowhere to be found. 

  • lead sharp
  • Philo Sophia

    I really have to agree with you here, though I think ‘over quality of story’ covers this. A seperate section for writing would have been appreciated, though.

  • Rachel Eppelsheimer

    I finished the ENTIRE SURVEY, including the random question asking if I was hispanic (what kind of a question is that..?) and then the one that followed asking me the color of my skin. Then after everything, it says, “Thanks a lot. Unfortunately, you do not qualify for this particular survey.” LAME.

  • Jenni Newman

    Yep done although I suppose mine won’t be counte as I’m not from the US – daft really I do buy mostly DC Comics you’d think they’d want to hear from as many fans/consumers as possible?!

    And what was with the odd stand out question of Are you Hispanic?! and then asking what colour my skin is?! How weird is that?!